Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana May 2018: Centaurs and Minotaurs

There is a video on their thinking at https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/05/21/unearthed-arcana-centaurs-and-minotaurs/.

They started out with centaurs (apparently a long-term goal), decided to make the PC version medium because of paladin auras (where is @LowKey when you need him), but they aren't like a special race of centaurs or anything.

My guess is that large centaurs are like "we are centaurs, we don't need no stinking classes", and medium centaurs are like "it is a hard knock life for medium centaurs, better get some class levels", which is why they can be PC's, because a PC without a class level is just an NPC. Or maybe all the bad things that happen to PC centaurs stunts their growth?

The MM minotaurs are large because of demons, but if the minotaur wasn't hanging around with bad companionship (and wasn't on Krynn), it would be a minotaur from the UA.
 

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Immoralkickass

Explorer
As Deadpool would say, 'This is just lazy balancing!' Forced balancing is ok in competitive games where balance is important. But forced balancing in a game like D&D just breaks logic. We aren't forced to play humans and elves that are 50% smaller than the NPC versions, so why the exception for centaurs and minotaurs?
 

They double down on the notion that there will be no permanently large-sized PC's as long as there are class abilities/spells/magic items that give auras: https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/05/22/why-centaur-and-minotaur-should-not-be-large-pcs/. Better start the petition for an aura-free 6e.

At https://www.sageadvice.eu/2018/05/22/seems-like-centaurs-should-be-large-creatures/, they graphically show that unless your centaur's upper body came from a 7 foot tall pro wrestler, your horse size would scale down. That holds less appeal to me, since I picture centaurs as four-legged Bron Strowmans, but maybe we shouldn't be body-shaming the other centaurs.....
 

CapnZapp

Legend
There are certainly many more, and more relevant, reasons to avoid large player races. That auras get "50% bigger" seem next to insignificant compared to having to squeeze in regular dungeon corridors, and filling up smaller dungeon rooms.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
There are certainly many more, and more relevant, reasons to avoid large player races. That auras get "50% bigger" seem next to insignificant compared to having to squeeze in regular dungeon corridors, and filling up smaller dungeon rooms.
Crawford didn't say it was the one reason,but an example of the sort of problem that a Large PC represents to RAW.
 


From the video, it looks like the official answer to my questions is, "They are runts."

Which means they have no place in my game, unfortunately. It's a shame, I wouldn't mind allowing centaurs in concept.

Although, *I suppose* I could instead spin it that the MM centaurs are just overgrown juggernauts, maybe "Centaur Chief", assuming their chiefs are big, and regular centaurs just use NPC stat blocks with the centaur PC race modifiers.
 

gyor

Legend
From the video, it looks like the official answer to my questions is, "They are runts."

Which means they have no place in my game, unfortunately. It's a shame, I wouldn't mind allowing centaurs in concept.

Although, *I suppose* I could instead spin it that the MM centaurs are just overgrown juggernauts, maybe "Centaur Chief", assuming their chiefs are big, and regular centaurs just use NPC stat blocks with the centaur PC race modifiers.

Or they are a separate breed of Centaur. Like maybe the Large Centaur are Plains Centaur which has plenty of food and space to grow big, but the Medium PC Centaurs are Mountain Centaurs who have less space and food and so evovled to be somewhat smaller, adapting to their environment.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Or they are a separate breed of Centaur. Like maybe the Large Centaur are Plains Centaur which has plenty of food and space to grow big, but the Medium PC Centaurs are Mountain Centaurs who have less space and food and so evovled to be somewhat smaller, adapting to their environment.
Crawford made that very point regarding the Desert nomad Centaurs of Al'Quadim, who were Medium sized at the same time their Farunian cousins were Large.
 

GlassJaw

Hero
Personally, if auras was the only thing impacted by size, I would not hesitate to allow large characters.

Agreed. The aura thing feels really nit-picky to me.

I consider myself fairly well-versed in both 5E and 3.5 rules. In 3.5, size had a big impact on stats, in addition to spacing on the grid. But in 5E, I'm struggling to find many numeric implications of size aside from carrying capacity, grappling, and shoving - all of which are fairly minor. Size dictates monster stats in some cases but that doesn't apply to PCs.

Am I missing something? It seems that size would be more for flavor than anything else with regards to PCs, and in the cases where it does have an impact, it seems like it would be fairly easy to "balance" when creating a PC race.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
Agreed. The aura thing feels really nit-picky to me.

I consider myself fairly well-versed in both 5E and 3.5 rules. In 3.5, size had a big impact on stats, in addition to spacing on the grid. But in 5E, I'm struggling to find many numeric implications of size aside from carrying capacity, grappling, and shoving - all of which are fairly minor. Size dictates monster stats in some cases but that doesn't apply to PCs.

Am I missing something? It seems that size would be more for flavor than anything else with regards to PCs, and in the cases where it does have an impact, it seems like it would be fairly easy to "balance" when creating a PC race.

My sense of it too.

Can someone compile a list of the main difficulties that Large size causes in 5e?

I need to better understand what the problem seems to be.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Difficulties that Large size poses for player characters in D&D 5e. From most problematic to least.
• Increases area of an aura.
• Makes grappling less balanced.
• Incurs ‘squeezing’ in more areas in official adventures.
• Increases carrying capacity.
• Player characters can act as ‘mounts’.

... ?
 



Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I dont understand one thing: the centaur PC should be large because of its ''horse half'', right? Its not the human torso that would make it large, if I understang correctly. So, I think a good compromise would be to let the centaur occupy a ''Large'' space, but since the part that actually wields the weapons or grapple (I dont thing people would try to grapple or wield weapons with hooves), just specify in a specific trait that the centaur wield weapons and grapples as a medium creature. Problem solved.
So the Centaur would have larger blast/aura at the cost of having to squeeze in smaller places and being harder for him to take cover.

I'd let the extra equipment cost be a Dm fiat thing, like the druid's metal taboo.

For the minotaur, I'd give them a natural weapon that could deal the same as weapon+shield (since it doest require hands), so 1d8 should be plenty. Not as good as d10/d12 weapons, but lets you grapple while wielding horn and shield. I dont feel the necessity of having them large, but I'd give them the Long-Limbed trait from the Bugbear, to simulate the greater reach of a large creature, without having them actually large. They would carry as a large creature, attack on their turn as a large creature, without them being actually large.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Difficulties that Large size poses for player characters in D&D 5e. From most problematic to least.
• Increases area of an aura.
• Makes grappling less balanced.
• Incurs ‘squeezing’ in more areas in official adventures.
• Increases carrying capacity.
• Player characters can act as ‘mounts’.

... ?
Crawford mentioned in the video linked above that a number of spell effects that radiate out from the caster become geometrically different with a four square origin, and he used the Paladin Aura as an example.

He also used the example that a Large PC can block a wide corridor singlehandedly.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I dont understand one thing: the centaur PC should be large because of its ''horse half'', right? Its not the human torso that would make it large, if I understang correctly. So, I think a good compromise would be to let the centaur occupy a ''Large'' space, but since the part that actually wields the weapons or grapple (I dont thing people would try to grapple or wield weapons with hooves), just specify in a specific trait that the centaur wield weapons and grapples as a medium creature. Problem solved.
So the Centaur would have larger blast/aura at the cost of having to squeeze in smaller places and being harder for him to take cover.

I'd let the extra equipment cost be a Dm fiat thing, like the druid's metal taboo.

For the minotaur, I'd give them a natural weapon that could deal the same as weapon+shield (since it doest require hands), so 1d8 should be plenty. Not as good as d10/d12 weapons, but lets you grapple while wielding horn and shield. I dont feel the necessity of having them large, but I'd give them the Long-Limbed trait from the Bugbear, to simulate the greater reach of a large creature, without having them actually large. They would carry as a large creature, attack on their turn as a large creature, without them being actually large.
Ponies are Medium, and if a Medium mount is good enough for Ghengis Khan, it is good enough for a Centaur.

Seriously, anybody who objects to a Medium sized horse body, look up the Mongol horse breed: a Mongol horse fits well within the five foot square, and when combined with a Human torso would be eye to eye with the Goliath and Firbolg.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Ponies are Medium, and if a Medium mount is good enough for Ghengis Khan, it is good enough for a Centaur.

Seriously, anybody who objects to a Medium sized horse body, look up the Mongol horse breed: a Mongol horse fits well within the five foot square, and when combined with a Human torso would be eye to eye with the Goliath and Firbolg.

I agree with you. I dont understand why people want to argue that ''medium centaurs are ridiculous, they dont make sense'' when we play D&D. I mean, its not the first thing that would be farfetched in that game; medium dwarves, vancian magic, non-magic healing etc. We grown accustomed to them and after a time we can even argue that they make sense because X-Y-Z.

I feel that every time WotC comes up with a new thing its ''OMG, what are they thinking, that's stupid, broken, yada yada'' then, after a time, nobody really cares at their table. Last few months was Hexblade and Healing Spirit, before that it was the UA playtests (mainly Mystic and Lore Wizard). I remember when the all you would see on Reddit was Life cleric/Goodberries combo and how it utterly broke some games :p

I bet we'll have sooner or later medium Centaurs and Minotaurs, people will freak out and two months after people will forget.
 


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